Missed phone calls or delayed texting with Verizon Wi-Fi Calling

We’ve had several clients who complained that Wi-fi calling wasn’t working properly after we installed a Barracuda Cloudgen Firewall. I had tackled this issue on several occasions, but never was able to get a resolution. Barracuda tech support did not have an answer either. Thanks to a random reddit thread, I found the answer.

On pfsense, make sure to update your UDP multiple state timer. It’s in System->Advanced->Firewall & NAT

By default it is set to 15 seconds, and phones refresh their WiFi Calling tunnels at 60 seconds on iOS, and 60+15 random seconds on Android. You should set it to at least 90 seconds to prevent tunnels from being closed prematurely. I recommend setting it to 900 seconds (15 minutes).

You’ll know you need this if you miss incoming calls, or they randomly go to voicemail, and if you have delays in incoming text messages. You’ll also see sessions with low state timers in Diagnostics: pfTop (filter for “udp port 4500” to see all active WiFi Calling sessions bidirectionally)

In this case, he was using a pfsense firewall, but it’s the same problem. On the Barracuda firewalls, creating a firewall rule with UDP timeouts increased on UDP port 4500 will resolve it.

Find Public WAN IP Address of remote Unifi Device

Had a unique scenario where I needed to find the public WAN IP address of a remote Unifi Switch that was connected to our cloud controller. If you open up the debug terminal with the Unifi Controller and then type in the following command, it will give you the IP address.

curl ipecho.net/plain; echo

Thanks to Unifi forums for the tip.

Use Amazon Corretto for Unifi Controller instead of Oracle Java

So with Oracle starting to charge for commercial usage and updates of Java SE, I was looking for an alternative for our Unifi Controller. I ran across a comment in the Ubiquiti forums somewhere that said using Amazon Corretto works very well. So I decided to test it, and that is absolutely correct. Before installing the Unifi Controller, simply download & install Amazon Corretto version 8, which is a no-cost, multiplatform, production-ready distribution of OpenJDK. If you are using Windows 10 x64, be sure to download the Windows x64 version. After Corretto is installed, simply run the Unifi Controller installer. It worked flawlessly for me, which I was quite surprised.

Barracuda Firewall Command Line (SSH) Speed Test

Sometimes when you are trying to diagnose an internet speed or performance issue, it’s helpful to be able to run a speedtest from the router itself. We use Barracuda NextGen F Series Firewalls a lot, and the following command works like a charm. Simply login in via SSH into the router and run this command.


You should get a response that looks like this..

speedtest from ssh command line - barracuda nextgen firewall

Hope this helps.

Comcast Home Wireless Gateway Default Password ( TC8305C )

For years now I’ve always used the following username and password for Comcast modems.

Username: cusadmin
Password: highspeed

Recently though it seems like some of the newer modems like the wireless gateway TC8305C use the following combination.

Username: admin
Password: password


Quickbooks 2015 will NOT install on Windows XP

quickbooks pro 2015 does not install on Windows XP

For all the folks out there still running Windows XP, you will be in for a surprise when you go to upgrade Quickbooks. Starting with Quickbooks 2015, you can not install it on Windows XP. I haven’t tried all the possible workarounds yet, but the installer will check to see if you are running Windows XP and will prevent you from continuing. You can also see the list of requirements for Quickbooks 2015 here.

If I discover a workaround, I will post it. However, I highly recommend that you upgrade to Windows 7 or later. It’s way past time for you to upgrade. 😉

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded.

I had a customer call me to say that his computer seemed to freeze for him, so he did a hard restart on it. Once it booted back up, Microsoft Outlook 2010 would not start but give the following error message.

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded.

screenshotStarting Outlook in safe mode didn’t work either. Fortunately the fix is really easy.

If you are on Windows 7 simply type the following command in the search or run box.

Outlook.exe /ResetNavPane

Bingo. You will be up and running again!

Thanks to itswapshop.com for the tip.

Updates for Office are ready to be applied, but are blocked by one or more apps.

I have a customer who is getting the following error message in Office 2013. “Updates for Office are ready to be applied, but are blocked by one or more apps.”

Office 2013 - Updates are ready to be applied error message.


The problem is when the Update Now button is clicked, you get a notice saying you’re up to date! Restarting the program will bring the error message back again.

Office 2013 is up to date


I haven’t found a good solution for this problem yet, any ideas?

I’ll update this post if I find something.

Pebble Steel Smartwatch Unboxing & Setup Photos

A few photos of the unboxing and setup process for the new Pebble Steel Smartwatch. Some of my thoughts and impressions will be coming later. All photos taken with a Lumia 1020 and the screenshots are taken with a Nexus 5.

Pebble Steel - Unboxing
Pebble Steel Smartwatch – Still in Box

Continue reading “Pebble Steel Smartwatch Unboxing & Setup Photos”

Using a new generic domain name (gTLD) with Office 365

Its been very interesting to me seeing all the changes that are occurring in the domain space, especially with all hundreds of generic top level domains that will be flooding the market this year. I’ve been experimenting with a new gTLD domain name and seeing if its possible to setup in Office 365. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be very good support for the new gTLD domain names currently. I’ve been running into several brick walls. The very first thing you will notice is that you can not add a generic domain name, the field verification requires it to be a domain that ends with .com or similar extension.

Office 365 Small Business Add gTLD domain - Type a domain name that includes .com or a similar extension

Fortunately there is a fairly easy workaround for this issue. Yup, you guessed it. Powershell!! This article gives step by step instructions on how to add a domain to your office 365 account via powershell. Here are the concise steps if you are already used to using Office 365 & Powershell.

  1. Connect to your Office 365 account using the command “connect-msolservice”. (without quotation marks)
  2. Use the “New-MsolDomain” cmdlet to add your domain. Just like this “New-MsolDomain -name example.technology”
    Office 365 add gTLD domain via powershell

Bingo! It works.

Office 365 Add Domain via Powershell Generic Top Level DomainI was even able to verify the domain

Verify gTLD domain in Office 365 Small BusinessThe problem is I’m now stuck on Step 2. Which is the step where you need to “Setup Office 365 and keep your website where it’s hosted today”. It gives an error message that “Sorry, we couldn’t save that. Please try again.”

Grrr.. So I’m still stuck. If anyone has any tips, feel free to comment. Otherwise I’ll update this post once I figure out to continue.

Update 3/3/2014: I’ve discovered that at this point it is not possible to use a generic top level domain with Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Small Business Premium. I upgraded my account to Office 365 Mid Sized Business, and I was able to add, verify, & activate the domain name following the steps above. So in short, if you want to use a new cool domain name, make sure you are using Office 365 Mid Sized Business plan or any of the Enterprise plans.